As much as I believe in using fresh whole ingredients in cooking, there are times when it’s freezing outside, your stomach is grumbling, and the refrigerator is barren. I found myself in such a predicament the other day. Thankfully I was able to find a lonely pack of tofu towards the back of the fridge and a can of crab in the cupboard.
In Japan, this dish is known as tofu no kani ankake (豆腐のかにあんかけ) and makes for a quick side to a bowl of rice or a great protein packed snack on its own. Silken tofu when simmered, takes on the texture of a luscious egg custard, and the thick crab sauce adds a wonderful briny flavor without overpowering the delicate tofu.
I usually get cans of crab meat at the Japanese grocery store, but they’re also sold in up-scale supermarkets stores. Fresh lump crabmeat would also work fine.
For the dashi (japanese soup stock), you can rehydrate dashi granules according to the package directions, but I like make my own dashi. If you’re in a pinch you can always use chicken stock.
- Tofu with Crab Sauce
- A thick crab sauce envelopes a silky smooth piece of tofu with the texture of an egg custard. A quick side dish or snack.
- Skill Level
|Servings||Prep Time||Cook Time|
|4 sides||2 minutes||5 minutes|
- 400 grams tofu - soft divided into 4 blocks
- 140 grams crab - canned
- 1/2 cup dashi
- 2 teaspoons potato starch halve if using cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ginger - fresh grated
- 1/2 teaspoon usukuchi soy sauce (Japanese light soy sauce)
- mitsuba for garnish
- Add the tofu to a pot then cover with water. Slowly heat until the water is gently simmering to heat the tofu through.
- To make the sauce, add the juices from the canned crab, the dashi, the potato starch, ginger and light soy sauce to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine then place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil at which point it should start thickening. Once the mixture has the consistency of gravy, add the crab meat and stir to combine.
- To serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the hot tofu to a bowl. Cover with the crab sauce, and garnish with mitsuba leaves or chopped scallions.